Crucial Red Sea Data Cables Cut, Telecoms Firm Says

Crucial Red Sea Data Cables Cut, Telecoms Firm Says

Many undersea communications Red Sea data cables have been cut. Affecting 25% of data traffic between Asia and Europe, a telecoms company and a US official stated.

HGC Global Communications, based in Hong Kong, rerouted the traffic after severing four out of the 15 cables.

The reason behind this fault still needs an explanation.

The US officials are attempting to ascertain whether the cables were intentionally cut or if they were snagged by an anchor. Last month, Yemen’s internationally acknowledged government warned that the Iran-backed Houthi movement. They might sabotage the undersea cables and attack ships in the sea.

The Houthis – who control much of western Yemen’s Red Sea coast – refused last week that they had targeted cables. They blamed US and British military strikes for any damage to them.

US and British forces have targeted Houthi weapons and infrastructure. In response to the drone and missile attacks on merchant vessels, they have taken action. The missiles passed through the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

On Monday, HGC Global Communications said four Red Sea submarine cables – Seacom, TGN-Gulf, Asia-Africa-Europe 1. A recent “incident” caused damage to the Europe India Gateway cable.

It also states that it affects an estimated 25% of traffic. Noting that some 80% of the westbound traffic from Asia passed through the cables.

HGC said it had mitigated disruptions for its customers by rerouting data to Europe. The data was rerouted through cables in mainland China instead of using the remaining cables in the Red Sea and going under the Pacific Ocean to reach the US.

African telecoms cable operator Seacom told the Associated Press that “initial testing shows the affected segment lies within Yemeni maritime jurisdictions in the Southern Red Sea.”

A Pentagon official from CBS News, the BBC’s US partner, confirmed that someone had cut undersea telecommunications cables in the Red Sea.

The US is still trying to determine whether a ship’s anchor deliberately severed or snagged them, according to the official.

Houthi Denials Amidst Accusations of Red Sea Cable Damage

Last week, the Israeli business website Globes reported that the same four cables were damaged. These cables are running between the Saudi city of Jeddah and Djibouti. They blamed the Houthis without providing any evidence. Sky News Arabia, which is based in the United Arab Emirates, cited unnamed sources as accusing the Houthis of “blowing up” the cables.

The Houthis’ telecommunications ministry denied those reports.

The ministry said it wanted to reaffirm remarks in a recent speech by Houthi leader Abdul Malik al-Houthi, who said the group did not want to put any communications cables at risk.

The decision to “prevent the passage of Israeli ships” through the Red Sea did “not apply to ships belonging to international companies licensed to carry out marine work on cables in Yemeni waters,” it added.

On Monday, Telecommunications Minister Misfer al-Numair stated his ministry was “ready to assist requests for permits and identify ships with the Yemeni Navy,” referring to the Houthis’ naval forces.

Meanwhile, the US military’s Central Command said the Houthis had fired two anti-ship ballistic missiles. Unknown assailants fired at the MSC Sky II, a Liberian-flagged, Swiss-owned container ship, in the Gulf of Aden. It also stated that one of the missiles hit the vessel, causing damage but no injuries.

Houthi military spokesman Yahya Sarea claimed that the ship was Israeli. Also, it would “continue to prevent Israeli navigation or those heading to the ports of occupied Palestine.”

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